Beyond the Build

Construction Trends

Trading Cars for a Bike.

A couple of weeks ago, I was in the Twin Cities visiting some customers. While there, my friend Randy Manthey and his wife Christine invited me to their new flat in downtown Minneapolis.

Vélo North Loop, in the Warehouse District near the M River, caters to an active lifestyle, particularly those who bike. They have street level bike parking and a “bike kitchen,” where residents may access tire pumps, spare chain links and a bike wash.

Most folks move there partially because it’s in a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood, just a short ride to the central business district. Chef-driven restaurants are close by, as well as Target Stadium and a farmer’s market. On this particular evening, we enjoyed our dinner on the community rooftop patio, then walked over to a Twins game.

Bike-friendly buildings are on the rise, according to the the Wall Street Journal, along with common areas. There are lots of wins: more exercise, fewer cars and less carbon, all in a more social environment. Two of my children have chosen to live at the heart of their respective cities, and both enjoy the connectivity  and convenience it provides.

It’s my hope and belief that we will see more of this type of densification. Europeans have been living well this way for centuries before the car.


Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.